The Deborah Rogers Foundation, set up last year in memory of the literary agent Deborah Rogers, has received more than 850 submissions for its inaugural Writer’s Award, launched in October.
The £10,000 prize is for a first-time writer in the UK or Ireland who needs financial support to finish their first book and intends to support literary talent. Works of fiction, non-fiction and short stories are all eligible, although poetry is not.
To enter the prize, which closed for submissions last month, writers had to submit 20-30,000 words of their work.
The entries will now be judged by Shena Mackay, Owen Sheers and Kate Summerscale, who are all clients of Rogers Coleridge & White (RCW), where Rogers (pictured) was chairman.
The shortlist will be announced on 14th April during the London Book Fair, and the winner at an award ceremony with Ian McEwan in May. The winner will also appear in conversation with Peter Carey at the Hay Festival on 28th May.
Gill Coleridge, director at RCW, said: “We are thrilled to have so many submissions for the inaugural Writers’ Award; this is a wonderful opportunity for the winner and the shortlisted authors. Deborah would have been so pleased that writers RCW supported in her own lifetime - Peter Carey, Ian McEwan, Shena Mackay, Owen Sheers and Kate Summerscale - are now offering to support other new writers. It is very exciting to know we are on the brink of discovering some wonderful new talent.”